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ALMA shows volcanic impact on Io's atmosphere

New radio images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) show for the first time the direct effect of volcanic activity on the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io.

Geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate

The existence of a tectonic plate called Resurrection has long been a topic of debate among geologists, with some arguing it was never real. Others say it subducted—moved sideways and downward—into the earth's mantle ...

Stressed-out volcanoes more likely to collapse and erupt

An international study led by Monash scientists has discovered how volcanoes experience stress. The study, published today in Scientific Reports, has implications for how the world might be better protected against future ...

What lies beneath a volcano?

The complex plumbing system beneath volcanoes has been revealed in the clearest detail ever, marking a "major step forward" in our understanding of how they are formed and behave.

Researchers document the 'life cycle' of a volcano

Volcanoes are born and die—and then grow again on their own remains. The decay of a volcano in particular is often accompanied by catastrophic consequences, as was the most recent case for Anak Krakatau in 2018. The flank ...

Pumice arrives delivering 'vitamin boost' to the reef

The giant pumice raft created by an underwater volcanic eruption last August in Tonga has begun arriving on the Australian eastern seaboard, delivering millions of reef-building organisms that researchers say could be a 'vitamin ...

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Volcano

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanic activity involving the extrusion of rock tends to form mountains or features like mountains over a period of time. The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano island off Sicily. In turn, it was named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust (called "non-hotspot intraplate volcanism"), such as in the African Rift Valley, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America and the European Rhine Graben with its Eifel volcanoes.

Volcanoes can be caused by mantle plumes. These so-called hotspots, for example at Hawaii, can occur far from plate boundaries. Hotspot volcanoes are also found elsewhere in the solar system, especially on rocky planets and moons.

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